Force India achieved their best qualifying effort of F1 2012 so far at the European Grand Prix, but both drivers were left feeling that they could have got more out of the car after mistakes in the final sector.
The Valencia circuit seemed to bring out the best in the VJM05, and after looking strong throughout practice both Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta made it into the top ten shootout where they qualified eighth and tenth respectively.
With only a handful of drivers behind them on the track in Q3, both drivers were underneath the fastest time of the session at the second split on their final runs, but seemed to fade away in the final sector, and Hulkenberg didn't hide his disappointment afterwards.
“Maybe we were hoping for a little bit more than P8 and P10, especially considering how we have performed so far this weekend. I don't think the increase in temperatures helped us because the car felt more difficult to drive today and a bit nervous at times,” he explained.
“For the race tomorrow we are still near the front and will take the fight to the cars around us to try and come away with some points.”
di Resta himself was left ruing his own untidy lap, believing he could have challenged the Lotus' and Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes for a higher grid slot.
“It was a strong qualifying session but I feel I could have been higher up the grid because I didn't get the perfect lap together in Q3. We were the quickest car in Q2 and if I could have repeated that lap time in Q3 I would have been a couple of rows higher up the grid,” he continued.
“I was trying to squeeze a little bit extra from the car but I locked a wheel and lost time in the final sector.
“I will try and focus on the positives now though because we have been strong in all the sessions, the car is well dialled into the circuit, and I think we will have good race pace for tomorrow.”
by Philip Barclay